Eye on Fitness: Bill McAllister
McAllister plays tennis to keep fit
ANCHORAGE - Continuing now with our series on fitness... CBS 11's Bill McAllister has played tennis for most of his life, including on high school and college teams in Minnesota.
He takes a look at the health benefits of the sport:
I don't really remember the moment when I started playing tennis, but it's a good thing I did.
I picked it up while I was in junior high school in Topeka, Kansas, when I began wrestling, as well.
My wrestling career ended in Minnesota, with an injury during my freshman year in college.
Fortunately, tennis always remained an option, even after I had more or less given it up in the 1990s.
"It's a game for all ages,” says Patrick Rumley, a regular doubles player at the Alaska Club. “It's something that all skill levels, you can play. No matter where you are in age or skill level, you can be competitive with somebody. So it's fun."
"I think the biggest factor with tennis is that it's a lifetime sport,” said Alaska Club tennis pro Jimmy Kayongo. "It can be played at any age. We coach kids all the way from four years old to adults up to 50, 60 years old."
By the time I returned to playing tennis regularly, in Juneau 10 years ago, I already had developed diabetes.
But getting back on the court has helped keep my blood sugar at reasonable levels.
And as a cancer survivor, so far, I figure anything I can do toward improving my health could end up being crucial at some point.
And it's not likely to cause additional health problems.
Says Rumley: "I think for most of us who are out here playing doubles like this, it's a relatively low impact sport. I think for players particularly at a high level playing singles, it can get pretty physical."
The quality of my play varies a lot from point to point. But the point is, it improves the quality of my life.
After the Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs "Battle of the Sexes" in 1973, won by King at a key time in the feminist movement, I jokingly challenged the top two players on my high school's city championship girls' tennis team in Minneapolis.
But I was taken seriously, and the match was held, with two chairs on my side of the court.